How to Sew a Simple Knit Edge Finish

on July 21 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 7 Comments

Rachael Gander from imagine gnats has spotted trends for us and shared embroidery designs. She’s back with a quick tutorial for using knit fabric as a simple edge finish on necklines. The easy technique also works for armbands and hemlines, and with other fabrics (from cotton lawn to quilting cotton and more). The tutorial is an excerpt from Rachael’s popular Bess Top pattern, one of her many patterns for women and kids.

Rachael’s annual Shorts on the Line sew-along event kicks off next week, so be sure to hop over to learn more.

Today I’m here to share an excerpt from my Bess Top pattern, how to use strips of knit fabric for a simple edge finish. This technique works equally well with light-weight fabrics, like cotton lawn or double gauze, and heavy-weight fabrics, like quilting cotton, denim or even canvas.

This tutorial will show you how to use strips of knit to finish a neckline, but this same technique works equally well for armbands and hemlines.

Step One: Place one strip of jersey knit along the raw edge of back neckline, wrong side of knit facing right side of garment (this way if the knit curls, it will curl into the garment and not be visible).

Step Two: Pin strip around neckline, matching raw edges without stretching the knit. Overlap end of strip by 1/2” and then trim off excess.

Step Three: Starting at the back, stitch around entire neckline with a 1/2” seam allowance, back-stitching at end to secure.

Step Four: Press knit strip and seam allowances away from garment.

Step Five: Turn knit strip under, rolling so that seam is just inside garment and knit strip is not visible from the exterior. Pin well, as the seam line has a tendency to creep out during sewing.

Step Six: Starting again at back neckline, top-stitch around neckline with a 1/2” seam allowance, back-stitching at end to secure.

Step Seven: Press neckline well.

Once you’ve tried out this technique, you can change it up to add contrast trim to your edges. No matter how you apply it, I think you’ll find finishing those edges quick and easy with great results.

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7 Responses to How to Sew a Simple Knit Edge Finish

  1. Rose says:

    Great idea, could you use it on knit fabrics as well?

  2. Rose says:

    Could you use this method on knit fabrics too?

  3. Sarah Helene says:

    7 SIMPLE STEPS in your tutorial: “How to Sew a Simple Knit Edge Finish.” I LOVE the brown with white polka dot fabric & then bright turquoise knit narrow tape for the interfacing sewn at the neckline. The knit naturally stretches a little in the curved neckline. THANKS for sharing. Sarah in Minneapolis

  4. Debbie says:

    Hey Vanessa,

    One great tip I learned when I sewed my fleece jacket was to sew a strip of non-stretchy material along the shoulder seams (stitch in the ditch) to prevent stretching and sagging. If only a trick like that existed for all my jiggly bits I’d be a happy girl…lol.


  5. Emily says:

    I’ll have to try this. 🙂

  6. vanessa says:

    I did something like this (tho not so well). Knit scraps are much cheaper than purchased bias tape. On a neckline I’m guessing the knit finish is softer than a cotton bias tape strip.

    But people should not use the knit strips for, say, shoulder edging if they want the shoulders to not stretch out.

  7. Tammy says:

    Is there a reason you would use knit instead of bias tape or a facing? I’m curious if it would stretch over time? I haven’t seen this technique before, it looks very nice.

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